Monday, March 28, 2011


As you have surely figured out from Deb's posts, I didn't make the trip to see our new boat since it became "our new boat." I was planning to go. Right up until Friday morning I was hoping to meet her at the station for the now familiar train ride north. But work intervened and instead of sitting in the back of a train bound for Chicago I was sitting in the front of a baby-jet bound for the Quad Cities...once on Friday, 3 times on Sunday, and yet once more today. Five round trips total, 10 times back and forth over the same 167 nautical miles. Each time we departed 8R, landed on 9, departed 9 at intersection Echo, and landed back on 8R. The route was the same, CARDS7.NEENS MZV DIRECT outbound; DIRECT DIRTT DIRECT inbound. SKRAP and SNOOP, final approach fixes for 9 and 8R respectively, were loaded into the FMS at the start of each trip since we expected, and received, a clearance direct to each to set up for a visual approach. (When a pilot is loading the final approach fix for the landing runway before he leaves the ramp, he knows the routine.)  We knew the initial headings to expect, the frequencies of each Center and when we would be handed over, and the numbers for the ILSs to back up the visual. It was like being an airline pilot again.

We bought so much gas in Quad City they gave me a free shirt! (I'll bet you don't have a $4000 shirt anywhere.) Even the weather was basically the same. We flew Friday, Sunday and snowed dog snot here on Saturday afternoon. The first flakes fell on our back yard around 1430. By 1730 there was more than 4 inches piled on the deck furniture. Sunday we were flying in the clear blue sky once again and when we landed Monday for the last time, all the snow was gone.

Much as I missed being on The Tartan with Deb, it was fun to be flogging a plane through the skies on a bit of an unrelenting schedule. How lucky is a person when their main complaint about their job is that they don't get to do it enough? Even better? Saturday morning I headed to the lake, checked in on Nomad, and spent some time talking with PIPs about The Tartan. (That would be Pretty Important People, as in friends who are going to help me get the boat down here, in the water, and step the mast.) I had planned on getting the boat here and then starting down my list of things-to-fix. But I learned that some of the work (TIG welding mostly) can't really be done here very well. A cell phone call to Deb, some consultation with Crowly's, and problem avoided before it ever showed up. A couple of more phone calls today has us aiming to move the boat the middle of next week. And it just hit me...

...we have actually done this thing! We bought a boat, Deb has actually worked on it some, and it is heading this way for final fit and finish.



S/V Veranda said...

You thought you were busy this weekend.......wait'll the boat gets there

TJ said...

I know, and I can hardly wait. Right now the plan is to ship the boat the middle of next week, putting it here the weekend after next.

Bill K said...

In reading through your blog I saw where you stated that the Tartan weighed 22,000 lbs.

My first thought was that it was only half the weight of my 46' power boat.
And here I always thought that sailboats were heavier than power boats.

I have really enjoyed reading your blog as both Deb and you write very well.

Bill Kelleher

TJ said...

Thanks Bill, writting is kind of a hoby, and writing about Nomad and sailing is just pure fun.

We have some info that says the Tartan displaces 21,000 pounds with a little more than 9000 pounds in the keel. That's an empty boat of course, fresh out of the factory.